The official 3rd Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2017 Edition

Feel free to post your trip reports, observations, horror stories - whatever you like regarding the 2017 Mudspike Christmas Flight…

Good luck aviators!


I thought I should move this to a separate thread rather than hijack the XP11 screenshots thread. Sorry for the initial duplication…

Seeing as we have been given a heads up as to the destination for the annual Christmas jaunt, I thought I had better get a head start this year as I know my RL flying schedule will start to get busier over the coming months.

I am going to attempt the trip to Christmas Island in the VSkyLabs DC3. Here are some shots from my first leg - Austin (KAUS) to Amarillo TX.

On the Atlantic Aviation ramp at KAUS. This is the FBO the plane I fly is based at. This is using the KAUS scenery I picked up at

Taxying out to RW 17L

Taking the runway.

Climbing away from Austin Bergstrom Intl

Flying through a patchy cloud layer…

Same area…

Texas is kind of flat until you get farther West. Nice shadows from the clouds!

Left Downwind for Runway 22 at Amarillo…

Gear down, about to turn base.

Parked… I hope they don’t intend to put Jet-A in my tanks!

It’s a neat airplane to fly, although a bit labor intensive. You really have to babysit the airplane, even when the autopilot is engaged (such as it is)…


From Amarillo, I decided to head up towards the Rockies. KANK, Harriett Alexander Field Airport at Salida seemed like a good place to start my crossing of the mountain range. It is positioned at the end of a valley that can be for the most part followed to pass right over Eagle CO and Rifle.

Some details of KANK from AirNav:

Here we are departing Amarillo at first light.

Some time later, the Rocky Mountain range comes into sight…

The terrain is getting much more interesting now

Landing at KANK. There is nothing there in the default scenery apart from the runway and taxiway.


Salida Colorado to Boise Idaho - or, Hold My Beer and Watch This!

As some of you may already know, I recently treated myself to the X-Enviro weather plugin for XP11. With this plugin, the weather is always based on live real world conditions. I made the mistake of flying this leg without taking a close look at the weather…

Here is the planned routing through the mountains:

So, off we go, starting our takeoff run on what would prove to be an eventful flight.

After takeoff I turned North to follow the valley.

Before long, it became apparent that the weather was not cooperating.

I could see the ground though, and I had a positive ID on the road I needed to follow up the valley, so throwing caution to the wind, I press on regardless… :wink:

The terrain started to get a little too close for comfort. At least my co-pilot thought so.

The pucker factor was getting high now.

Fortunately, things started to improve as we passed by Eagle CO.

I continued to follow the highway until the familiar sight of Rifle greeted us…

Some time later we reach the back end of the weather, and the Western edge of the mountain range.

With the weather and the worst of the Rockies behind us, I thought I could relax a little and enjoy the rest of the flight…

But of course, that would be too easy. We still had to cross the Wasach range to fly over Salt Lake City, and the weather closed in again…

Fortunately, it didn’t pose too much of a problem. Beyond the mountains, the clouds thickened up below me. I never did see Salt Lake City. The view above the cloud layer was stunning though…

As we continued North West towards Boise, the weather finally did clear…

Cleared to land at Boise.

Finally shut down safe and sound. Time to head to the bar to buy my co-pilot a beer. Poor fellow is a little shaken up :wink: .

Next leg is from Boise to Boeing Field, Seattle.


VR support NOW!!!
Nice pics! :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to the promised native VR support. That is part of the reason why I have started to invest a little into XP11 (i.e. X-Enviro and some aircraft). I am really enjoying the sim so far.


I was thinking about the same, to start earlier so I will be in no stress later :slight_smile:

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For the third leg, we are going to depart Boise and head up to Seattle. I thought Boeing Field would be the most interesting airport to fly into (KBFI).

It’s a beautiful clear day in Boise!

Taxying out, a MD80 performs a missed approach. He was flying opposite to the direction of traffic prescribed by the ATIS. I figured it would be prudent to no go head to head with a jetliner, so I elected to take an intersection departure. The DC3 doesn’t need much runway, so no problem…

And we are off!

A nice view with a scattered layer above us.

I took a LOT of screen shots on this leg. The weather was great, with just enough cloud to look interesting, and the terrain in this area is stunning (even when using stock scenery)…

The highlight of this leg was flying past Mt Rainier. It’s summit is at 14355 Ft above mean sea level.

A closer view of Mt Rainier

As we leave Mt Rainier behind us, it is time to start our descent into the Seattle area.


Boeing Field was using Runway 13, so the Harbor Bay visual approach sounded like a good idea.

Here we are descending out towards the harbor area, passing Seattle Tacoma International Airport (aka SEATAC). Boeing Field can be seen in the background.

Passing Alki Point, with downtown Seattle in the distance.

Fully configured for landing.

Short final.

Almost beer-o’clock!

The next leg will take us North to Prince Rupert BC (CYPR).

BTW, if I need to tone down the screen shots please let me know. I might have got a little carried away :wink:


Fill it with 31 skydivers on a hot day in the So Cal desert, and it doesn’t just leap into the air as I recall. :open_mouth:


That sounds like a story to share over a beer at the first annual Mudspike gathering ;).


It’s the farthest one :wink: . PLCH would be fun to navigate to with dead reckoning though. Even better, using celestial navigation. :wink:

Great reports and screens. The DC-3 looks fabulous over the stunning scenery. I’m interested to see how you’re route is going to progress.

I am going to be in a similar position this year, as I’ll be away from my flying PC for the main part of my leave and not back until after the deadline. I had so much fun last time, I won’t want to miss it.

It would be great if a few more people here flew it on this trek.
Seeing as XP11 logs each flight, we could also do a kind of navex/race using real world weather over the course of several legs. GPS not allowed!

An air rally would be fun.

I have done some research on Celestial Navigation with X-Plane. There have been several attempts at creating a plugin to allow this. One even created a link to a freeware planetarium program where the idea was to take your sight readings in that piece of software. Sounded interesting, but the project seems to have fallen off the vine.

I am thinking a simple way to approximate the process would be to periodically take a look at some of the data that X-Plane can display. You can set up the data graph to show you Lat/Long and Wind. You could then plot that on an external mapping app (Such as Jepp FD) or a paper chart if you have one. I wonder how frequently they used to take a sight reading when flying oceanic back in the day? Although we would still get too much accurate data, it would still leave us plenty of work to navigate without using a GPS moving map.

If I was still into coding, I would try to throw a simple plugin together that would display your lat/long with some randomized error thrown in. Maybe more error based on the level of turbulence present at the time of the reading. Unfortunately I haven’t done any programming in years, and I never did learn C++.

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So, the next leg takes us from Boeing Field up to Prince Rupert BC.

Here we are in line for departure. Do you think we should tell the Challenger 300 pilot that he still has the engine covers on? :laughing:

Leaving Boeing Field behind us…

Heading North, past Victoria we pass close to James Island and Sidney Island.

The terrain starts to get mountainous as we continue North. The view was stunning (default scenery with X-Enviro)…

Behind us we see Gil Island. Below us is the start of the Grenville Channel. I follow this long narrow channel for about 50nm. Prince Rupert airport is located at the far end.

Here we are about half way up the channel.

And not long after that we have Prince Rupert airport in sight…

On Final for Rwy 13.

and safely parked at the FBO.

It was a fun flight. I had to use NDB navigation to get up here, which was a bit more challenging than using VOR’s, especially because there were areas where I wasn’t picking up any beacon. Fortunately my dead reckoning was good enough to at least get me close enough to pick up the next beacon on my flight path.

The next leg takes us up to Juneau Alaska.


Watching this thread closely. I haven’t decided what equipment to use, but have started flight planning limiting legs to 1000 nm or less in less I chose something with short range. I’ve planned as far as PABE, but not having much luck after that. Enjoying the ride with you so far Paul.

crossing from alaska looks like it’s going to be awful.

I’m going to start this, but not sure I’ll finish. Some of those legs are too long, I just don’t have the time to put in. We’ll see.

I have also started planning this evening. I am thinking about doing a lap through Indonesia and then down to Christmas Island.

Here is my planned routing from Alaska.

I also wanted to keep the legs reasonably short. The DC3 autopilot doesn’t have a Nav Hold function, so you have to babysit it (i.e. I can’t really set the autopilot and then walk away from the computer to do something else).


Hey Rhino, if you keep the legs short, take a fast airplane, and start now, it will be a piece of cake :slight_smile: